Harrogate has the best hospital in the country when it comes to cancer care, according to a league table published this week.
Harrogate District Hospital maintained its number one rating in the report by Macmillan Cancer Support, which relates to cancer patients’ experience while being treated at hospital.
The news comes as work begins on a major new cancer centre at the hospital.
Andrew Alldred, clinical director for cancer and clinical support services at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said he was delighted by the accolade.
“In Harrogate, we recognise that treating people with cancer is not just about having the right chemotherapy, but that giving them emotional support and help for when they leave hospital is also crucial,” he said.
“Our service offers all of this, utilising the strengths of a whole range of teams, to ensure that our patients and their families receive the very best care.
“We are delighted that Macmillan’s survey has shown that we are taking the right approach as far as patients are concerned and we will be looking to build on that in the future.”
The league table, based on the latest Cancer Patient Experience Survey, measures cancer patients’ experience while being treated at hospital. That includes whether there were enough nurses on duty, if they were given sufficient support by health and social services after leaving hospital and whether they received the right emotional backing and financial information.
Audrey Bradford, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern England, said: “We congratulate Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust for achieving the best results in the recent patient experience survey.
“We know that the support and care people receive is as important as their actual treatment, and can make all the difference between coping with cancer and finding it a real struggle.”
At the same time, work is starting on construction of the £9m Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.
The facility, funded by £3.5m donations from local businessman Sir Robert Ogden and Macmillan Cancer Support, and a £2m investment from the foundation trust, will offer a wide range of treatments and support not currently available to cancer patients in Harrogate and the North Yorkshire area.
Lead cancer nurse, Paula Middlebrook, said: “The new unit will improve even further the experience for patients having chemotherapy.
“An information resource area, financial and benefit advice, increased access to complementary therapies and better facilities for counselling and support will be available for all patients regardless of where they have treatment.
“A key focus of the new unit will be on the provision of supportive care for both patient and carer with greater emphasis upon meeting the needs of people as they get on with their lives ‘after cancer’”
The trust’s chief executive, Richard Ord, said: “The new unit will enable us to carry out a wider range of treatments that patients currently have to travel elsewhere to receive.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Sir Robert Ogden and Macmillan Cancer Support. Without their help, we would not be able to go ahead.”
For information about what to expect during cancer treatment, or for support coping with cancer, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk.